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HMS Nabob limps home
HMS Nabob was badly damaged by U-354 during Operation Goodwood I to IV, a series of attacks on the Tirpitz. Despite the damage she was able to limp back to base, although it was later decided that it wasn't worth repairing her.
Royal Canadian Navy : Damaged Ships, HMCS Saguenay & HMS Nabob.
The following information is from a detailed history of HMCS Saguenay on the For Posterity's Sake website. " On 15 Nov 1942 HMCS Saguenay was escorting convoy WS13. At a distance of approximately 12 miles south of St. John's and 50 miles south east of Cape Spare, HMCS Saguenay was struck in the stern by the freighter SS Azra. Depth charges from HMCS Saguenay were dislodged overboard and exploded beneath both ships. The Saguenay had her stern blown off and the Azra her bow. Damage to the Azra was sufficient to cause her to sink at the site. The Saguenay stayed afloat and took Azra's crew members onboard. The collision occurred within sight of Cape Spear near the entrance to St. John's harbour and the naval command center at HMCS Avalon dispatched an RCN Tug . . . . to tow the damaged Saguenay to the graving dock in St. John's harbour. Once in the graving dock, the stern was sealed to enable the ship to be towed to the ship yards at Saint John, N.B. After further repairs at Saint John, N.B., she was then taken to Cornwallis in Oct 1943, to serve as a training ship."
The photos below were probably taken in Saint John, N.B.
Deck damage on HMCS Saguenay. Lettering on paintwork at left says "Ex Orillia".
Unidentified standing on HMCS Saguenay.
Sheared deck of HMCS Saguenay.
Sheared deck of HMCS Saguenay.
Sheared deck of HMCS Saguenay.
Sheared deck of HMCS Saguenay.
On the back of the photo is hand-written: "H.M.C.S. Nabob torpedoed and damaged severely by sub 115 miles from Sioux at 10:30 pm. Sioux displatched to rescue survivors". Editor's note: The aircraft carrier HMS Nabob was on loan to the RCN but was never officially given the "HMCS" designation. It had a mixed British (airmen) and Canadian (seamen) crew. It was torpedoed by a U-boat on August 22, 1944, with the loss of 11 RCN and 10 RN lives, but was able to slowly limp 1,600 km back home to safety. See The Legion Magazine for a more complete story.
Can you provide names, comments or corrections?
Please email Charlie Dobie.
HMS Nabob (D 77)
This is a listing of people associated with this ship.
We also have a detailed page on the British escort carrier HMS Nabob (D 77).
Aboard HMS Nabob (D 77) when hit on 22 Aug 1944
You can click on any of the names for possible additional information
|Beach, John Alan, FAA||22||Leading Air Fitter (O)||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Billing, George Oscar, RN||19||Captain’s Writer||HMS Nabob (D 77)|
|Branter, Frederick, RCN||22||Leading Seaman (QR2)||HMS Nabob (D 77)|
|Chizy, Harold, RCNVR||25||Sick Berth Attendant||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Clark, Frederick Henry, RCN||30||Chief Petty Officer||HMS Nabob (D 77)|
|Connolly, Charles William, RCNVR||42||Leading Cook (S)||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Crawford, Andrew, RN||36||Leading Supply Assistant||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Currie, George Howard, RCNVR||32||Supply Assistant||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Flowers, George Fredrick Arthur, FAA||19||Leading Airman (TAG)||HMS Nabob (D 77)|
|Frohock, John, FAA||25||Air Mechanic (A) 2nd Class||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Gold, John James, RCNVR||30||Leading Stoker||HMS Nabob (D 77)|
|Goudie, Owen Reynolds, FAA||27||Leading Air Mechanic (O)||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Hardy, John, RCN||22||Lieutenant||HMS Nabob (D 77)|
|Jack, James Maurice, RCN||28||Petty Officer (HSD)||HMS Nabob (D 77)|
|James, George, RCN||Officer’s Cook||HMS Nabob (D 77)|
|Jones, John Cameron, RCNR||35||Leading Steward||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Lay, Horatio Nelson, RCN||41||Commander||HMS Nabob (D 77)|
|Lewis, Joseph, RCN||42||Able Seaman||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Lyner, George Roy Walter, FAA||24||Air Mechanic (E) 1st Class||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|MacDonald, Duncan Alexander, RCNVR||26||Able Seaman||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Mackenney, Arnold Valentyne, RCNVR||35||Stores Assistant||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Marshfield, Walter, RN||18||Able Seaman||HMS Nabob (D 77)|
|Melrose, David, RCNR||30||Able Seaman||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Rattley, Philip Alan, RN||27||Electrical Artificer 4th Class||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Rothwell, Peter Thomas, FAA||27||Air Artificer 4th Class||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Sawyer, Ronald, FAA||20||Air Mechanic (E) 2nd Class||HMS Nabob (D 77)|
|Shepperd, Edward George, RCN||Crew member||HMS Nabob (D 77)|
|Staines, Frederick Charles, RCNVR||29||Supply Assistant||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Stanton, Cyril Arthur William, FAA||Air Mechanic (E) 2nd Class||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Stephens, Gordon Henry, FAA||26||Petty Officer Radio Mechanic (AW)||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Tait, John Rowan, RCNVR||23||Electrical Artificer 4th Class||HMS Nabob (D 77)|
|Tucci, Albert, RCNVR||27||Able Seaman||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Whitehouse, Eric, RCN||41||Petty Officer Regulating||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
|Wilkes, Harry, RN||Steward||HMS Nabob (D 77) +|
Served on indicates the ships we have listed for the person, some were stationed on multiple ships hit by U-boats.
People missing from this listing? Or perhaps additional information?
If you wish to add a crewmember to the listing we would need most of this information: ship name, nationality, name, dob, place of birth, service (merchant marine, . ), rank or job on board. We have place for a photo as well if provided. You can e-mail us the information here.
These ships were all larger and had a greater aircraft capacity than all the preceding American built escort carriers. They were also all laid down as escort carriers and not converted merchant ships. Ώ] All the ships had a complement of 646 men and an overall length of 492 feet 3 inches (150.0 m), a beam of 69 feet 6 inches (21.2 m) and a draught of 25 ft 6 in (7.8 m). Ώ] Propulsion was provided a steam turbine, two boilers connected to one shaft giving 9,350 brake horsepower (SHP), which could propel the ship at 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h 19.0 mph). ΐ]
Aircraft facilities were a small combined bridge–flight control on the starboard side, two aircraft lifts 43 feet (13.1 m) by 34 feet (10.4 m), one aircraft catapult and nine arrestor wires. Ώ] Aircraft could be housed in the 260 feet (79.2 m) by 62 feet (18.9 m) hangar below the flight deck. Ώ] Armament comprised: two 4 inch Dual Purpose guns in single mounts, sixteen 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns in twin mounts and twenty 20 mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft cannons in single mounts. Ώ] They had a maximum aircraft capacity of twenty-four aircraft which could be a mixture of Grumman Martlet, Vought F4U Corsair or Hawker Sea Hurricane fighter aircraft and Fairey Swordfish or Grumman Avenger anti-submarine aircraft. Ώ]
'There were bodies flying straight up into the air': Coquitlam vet remembers torpedo attack
The first torpedo slammed into the hull of the aircraft carrier just before dinner.
The blast opened a gaping 32-foot wide hole in the hull of the ship below the waterline, triggering the action alarm.
Below deck, the explosion tore through the galley and spirit room, where the crew had lined up to receive their rum rations. Nearby, men were thrown from their hammocks and bunks.
One stoker was moving oil to the front of the ship when the torpedo knocked out the lights he was forced to grope through 50 feet of darkness to the nearest escape hatch, according to a Royal Canadian Navy dispatch.
Another petty officer from Toronto was in a pistol testing room near the mess when the blast exploded through the room, leaving it in darkness. Water rushed about his legs and swept him up to the next deck.
“He dived under water, swam through the doorway and managed to make his escape through the hatch he had originally endeavoured to get away by,” wrote Lieut. Commander Walter Gilhooly in a statement from Naval Headquarters neaely a year later.Crew of the H.M.S. Nabob line the deck following a torpedo attack in the Arctic waters off Norway, Aug. 22, 1944. - Battle Honours Won HMS Nabob, 1944 - Shawn Cafferky
The first order came down from Canadian Captain Horatio Nelson Lay: “Prepare to abandon ship.”
It had been seven minutes since the first torpedo hit, and rafts were being lowered to the waterline.
Edward Hart of Coquitlam was on the flight deck when, “in one horrifying moment,” he looked up and saw a second torpedo intended to finish off the Nabob detonate against the hull of a nearby destroyer, killing 40.
“There were bodies flying straight up into the air,” remembers Hart.
HUNTERS BECOME THE HUNTED
Born in Saskatchewan, Hart moved west at a young age, settling with his family in Mission, B.C.. But as the war raged on, the young man — too young to join the services — lied about his age and joined the Royal Canadian Navy.
Hart was assigned to what would go down in history as the country’s first Canadian-crewed aircraft carrier, the H.M.S. Nabob, purchased from the US Navy and retrofitted to Royal Navy standards at the Burrard Dry Dock in Vancouver.Coquitlam's Edward Hart on Granville Street in Vancouver after he enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy. - Submitted
Launched March 9, 1943, Hart sailed out of English Bay with a complement of what would later amount to 840 crew and officers. On course for Europe, the ship stopped in San Francisco to pick up a squadron of Grumman Avenger torpedo bombers and passed through the Panama Canal before collecting another deck load of P-51 Mustang fighter planes in New York.
Soon, the Nabob was attached to an Allied carrier group, part of the British Home Fleet and on a mission to root out the German navy in occupied Norway.
On Aug. 22, 1944, the fleet approached Kaafjord, 500 kilometres north of the Arctic Circle. Its target, the Tirpitz, a hulking 800-foot Bismarck-Class battleship anchored at the head of the fiord.
By the afternoon, the attack against the German battleship was underway. Overhead, Grumann Wildcat fighters flew combat air patrol as the ship’s Avenger bombers joined the main force, dropping mines in an attempt to sink the battleship. Just after 5 p.m., the Nabob was refuelling three nearby ships.
Little did the crew know, German U-boat U-354 had crept up off her starboard side.British air crew load bombs aboard one of the H.M.S. Nabob's sister ships, the Formidable (top left) the German battleship Tipitz, target of the Allied attack (top right) H.M.S. Nabob at the mouth of the Fraser River during training in the Straight of Georgia, B.C. (bottom) - Imperial War Museum Battle Honours Won HMS Nabob, 1944 - Shawn Cafferky
A NARROW ESCAPE
The carnage from the first torpedo could have been much worse.
“It’s ironic, 15 minutes later there would have been over 400 guys right where we were hit in the mess deck,” Nabob crew member Len Love told The Province in 1994, on the 50th anniversary of the attack.
Sonar operators tracked the approach of a third torpedo. This time, it missed.
Below decks, damage control parties raced to close hatches and doors to seal off the incoming sea. With the aft of the ship now 16 feet below water, crew members cut away and tossed the five-inch guns into the sea, together with whatever bombs and mines couldn’t be moved towards the bow.
Inside, wounded were carried away from the scene of the explosion on stretchers and into the darkness of the ship’s canteen. Ventilators and fans kicked in to clear the engine room of smoke.An Avenger torpedo bomber lands on the deck of the H.M.S. Nabob - Battle Honours Won HMS Nabob, 1944 - Shawn Cafferky
The crew was gaining the upper hand and it was soon determined that despite the massive hole in the hull, there was no immediate danger of the ship going down.
Hart, along with the rest of the all-Canadian aircraft handling crew, secured the torpedo bombers and fighters on the flight deck.
Three Royal Navy destroyer escorts formed a screen around the listing ship, and soon the Canadian Fleet class destroyers, H.M.C.S. Algonquin and H.M.S. Vigilant were on their way to help.
At 3 a.m., two Avenger bombers launched from the sloping deck of the Nabob tasked with driving off a trailing U-boat as the ship steamed the 1,100 miles from Norway to the sheltered Scottish waters of Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands.The damaged HMS NABOB proceeding homewards under her own steam, her stern low down in the water. She was hit by a torpedo during an operation in northern waters. Despite her damaged condition, NABOB turned homeward with a skeleton crew and reached her base after sailing 1070 miles at a steady ten knots. - Imperial War Museum
All told, 21 crew members died aboard the Nabob.
The German attackers fared worse. A day later, aircraft from another ship sank U-354, killing all 51 crew members.
And while the Canadian-crewed ship ended its naval service following the torpedo attack, Coquitlam’s Hart would go on to serve aboard the notorious frigate H.M.C.S Swansea, which during the Battle of the Atlantic, would sink four U-boats, more than any Canadian ship.
After serving 12 months at sea across 13 posts, Hart was demobilized in the fall of 1945. He returned home, settling in Coquitlam and serving as an officer in the Vancouver Police Department until his retirement.A gaping 32-foot wide hole was blown through the hull of the H.M.S. Nabob by a German submarine Aug. 22, 1944. Twenty-one crew were killed. - Via 'Nabob: The First Canadian-manned Aircraft Carrier by Betty Warrilow
Now 97-years-old, Hart looks back on that day as a turning point in his young life.
“I knew I would never be the same afterwards,” he said.
The Coquitlam man has struggled to share his experiences during the war. His daughter, Carol-Ann Hart, said that’s only recently started to change.
“Over the years, he’s been more willing to talk about it. He’s proud of what he did,” the younger Hart told the Tri-City News. “But when I was a kid, he kept it close to his chest.”With Edward Hart's wife in hospital this Remembrance Day, the family's traditional lunch has been put on hold. - Submitted
Never one for ceremonies, Hart and his family usually mark Nov. 11 by pinning poppies to their chests and going out for a nice lunch — often at the Boathouse in Port Moody.
But this year, Hart’s wife is in hospital and the family tradition is on hold.
Still, Carol-Ann has found her own way to remember. As a citizenship judge, she presides over ceremonies welcoming new Canadians as they swear allegiance to the country and its values. In one breath, her speech calls attention to the country’s deep Indigenous roots in another, she recalls her father’s story and what he and his crew endured in the Arctic waters off Norway 76 years ago.
Built in the United States at the Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Co. in Tacoma, Washington, the HMS Nabob actually started its life as the USS Edisto (CVE-41). Work on this escort carrier began on 20 October 1942 and it was originally designed to be a merchant ship. But the hull was purchased by the US Navy and the ship was converted into a Bogue class escort carrier to be renamed USS Edisto. The new escort carrier was completed on 7 September 1943. On 7 September the ship was transferred to the Royal Navy and placed under the command of Commander L.R. Romer. At this point, the ship was renamed the HMS Nabob and was sent with a small temporary crew to Vancouver, Canada. Once there, she picked up her permanent crew. Of the 750 men on board the Nabob, 450 were from Canada. On 15 October 1943 the ship was formally handed over to Captain Horatio Nelson Lay, OBE, RCN, who assumed command of the ship.
While in Canada, the Nabob underwent further conversion for duties as an Antisubmarine Warfare carrier. The conversion was completed by 13 January 1943 and the ship left for Esquimalt on 24 January for final working up exercises. However, on 25 January the ship ran aground in Georgia Strait after hitting a silt deposit on the seabed. There was no serious damage to the ship, but it took three days before the Nabob could be pulled free from the silt. On 6 February the Nabob steamed to San Francisco where she picked up her aircraft, a squadron of Grumman TBM Avengers. After a brief working up period off San Francisco, the Nabob transited the Panama Canal and went to New York City, arriving there on 19 March. While in New York City, the Nabob received a number of P-51 Mustang fighters as deck cargo to be ferried to England for the RAF. The Nabob left New York on 23 March and reached Liverpool on 6 April, where she unloaded her cargo of fighters. Although the Nabob was assigned to Western Approaches Command, she was sent to the Clyde shipyard to repair defects that were found throughout the ship. The Nabob did not return to active duty until 26 June 1944.
After another working up period during which her TBM Avengers returned to the ship, the Nabob took part in Operation “Offspring” on 10 August 1944. Aircraft from the Nabob, along with planes from the fleet carrier Indefatigable and the escort carrier Trumpeter, laid aerial mines off Norway. This was the largest mine laying operation attempted by aircraft from the British Home Fleet, of which the Nabob was now a part.
The Nabob went on to take part in Operation “Goodwood,” which was an attack on the German battleship Tirpitz that was also anchored in Norway. During this operation, a torpedo fired by U-354 on 22 August 1944 struck the Nabob. The torpedo struck the starboard side of the ship, causing a 32-foot gash below the waterline and right next to the engine room. Water poured in through the hole and soon the escort carrier settled 15 feet down by the stern. Electrical power was lost throughout the ship and the Nabob sat dead in the water. The initial explosion killed 30 crewmen and 40 others were injured. Another torpedo was fired at the Nabob from U-354, but this one hit the frigate HMS Bickerton, sinking the ship. Crewmembers from the Nabob worked feverishly to save their ship. Damage control parties were eventually able to patch the hole and stop the flooding. After much effort, power was gradually restored and the Nabob was able to start moving at a very slow three knots. She eventually made it to Scapa Flow on 27 August 1944, where she underwent emergency repairs. The ship then steamed to Rosyth where she was dry-docked. After inspecting the ship, the Royal Navy decided that the Nabob was beyond repair and that she was to be laid up for the rest of the war. The ship was beached and decommissioned on 30 September 1944 and stripped for parts for other escort carriers.
What was left of the HMS Nabob was returned to the US Navy on 16 March 1946. Her hulk was sold for scrapping in March 1947 but, in an amazing turn of events, the ship was then resold to German buyers (Norddeutscher Lloyd in Bremen, Germany). The Nabob had her flight deck removed and was then towed from England to Bremen, Germany. The ship was equipped with new British-built steam turbines and was eventually converted into a merchant ship. Even though the ship was totally rebuilt, she kept her old name Nabob. The freighter Nabob remained in German hands for 16 years and was re-sold to new owners in Hong Kong in 1967. At this point the ship was renamed Glory and kept on working as a merchant ship until 1976, when she was sent to Taiwan to be scrapped, ending a very long career. The Nabob showed how much punishment an escort carrier could take and still remain afloat. She also proved that, even though stripped and left as a derelict hulk, some ships still have a lot of life left in them.
Figure 1 (Top): HMS Nabob steaming off the coast of British Columbia shortly after completion. Photo Courtesy of Corvus Publishing Group / Canada's Navy. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 2 (Middle, top): The HMS Nabob as she appeared shortly after being torpedoed on August 22, 1944, by U-354. Although the torpedo punched a 32-foot hole below the ship’s waterline, she was eventually able to steam to Scapa Flow under her own power. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 3 (Middle, bottom): Another view of the HMS Nabob after she was torpedoed by the German submarine U-354. She clearly can be seen settling by the stern. Click on photograph for larger image.
Figure 4 (Bottom): The German freighter Nabob, ex-HMS Nabob, leaving Bremen, Germany, on a foggy day in March 1965. Photo by Gerhard Mueller-Debus. Click on photograph for larger image.
The Bogue class were larger and had a greater aircraft capacity than all the preceding American built escort carriers. They were also all laid down as escort carriers and not converted merchant ships.  All the vessels in the class had a complement of 646 men and an overall length of 492 feet 3 inches (150.0 m), a beam of 69 feet 6 inches (21.2 m) and a draught of 25 ft 6 in (7.8 m).  Propulsion was provided by a steam turbine, two Foster Wheeler boilers  connected to one shaft giving 9,350 shaft horsepower (6,970 kW), which could propel the ship at 16.5 knots (30.6 km/h 19.0 mph). 
Aircraft facilities were a small combined bridge–flight control on the starboard side, two aircraft lifts 43 feet (13.1 m) by 34 feet (10.4 m), one aircraft catapult and nine arrestor wires.  Aircraft could be housed in the 260 feet (79.2 m) by 62 feet (18.9 m) hangar below the flight deck.  Armament comprised: two 4-inch (102 mm) dual purpose guns in single mounts, sixteen 40 mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns in twin mounts and twenty 20 mm Oerlikon anti-aircraft cannons in single mounts.  They had a maximum aircraft capacity of twenty-four aircraft which could be a mixture of Grumman Martlet, Vought F4U Corsair or Hawker Sea Hurricane fighter aircraft and Fairey Swordfish or Grumman Avenger anti-submarine aircraft. 
NABOB Statistical Data
- Pendant: D77
- Type: Escort Aircraft Carrier
- Class: Bogue Class
- Displacement: 15390 tonnes
- Length: 495.8 ft
- Width: 69.5 ft
- Draught: 25.4 ft
- Speed: 18 kts
- Compliment: 1000 Officers and Crew
- Arms: 2-5", 16-40mm (8 x II), 20-20mm.
- Builder: Seattle-Tacoma Shipbuilding Corp., Tacoma. Wash.
- Keel Laid: 20-Oct-42
- Date Launched: 09-Mar-43
- Date Commissioned: 07-Sep-43
- Paid off: 30-Sep-44
Two ships of the Royal Navy have borne the name HMS Nabob, for a Nabob, which is an Anglo-Indian term for a conspicuously wealthy man who made his fortune in the Orient, especially in the Indian subcontinent.
HMS Nabob was the East Indiaman Triton, launched in 1766, which the Navy bought in 1777 for use as a storeship, converted to a hospital ship in 1780, and then sold in 1783.
HMS Nabob D77 was the ex-USS Edisto, an escort carrier launched in 1943 and provided to the United Kingdom on Lend-Lease. She was torpedoed in 1944, not repaired, and sold to the Netherlands for breaking up in 1947, resold in 1951, and finally broken up in Taiwan in 1977.
HMS Nabob D77 was a Ruler - class escort aircraft carrier which served in the Royal Navy during 1943 and 1944. The ship was built in the United States
Nabob coffee a brand of coffee in Canada HMS Nabob D77 a Bogue - class escort aircraft carrier Nabob Wisconsin, an unincorporated community Nawab
18 August they were deployed as a screen for the escort carriers HMS Nabob and HMS Trumpeter for the planned air attacks on the German battleship Tirpitz
escort carriers HMS Trumpeter and HMS Nabob sailed to the Barents Sea to attack the German battleship Tirpitz. During this operation HMS Nabob was torpedoed
HMS Bickerton was a Captain - class frigate of the Buckley type during World War II. Named after Sir Richard Bickerton commander of HMS Terrible at the
American public airport HMS Nabob D77 a Bogue - class escort aircraft carrier HMS Trafalgar D77 a Battle - class destroyer HMS Whitshed D77 a V and
1943. He was the only Canadian Commanding Officer of the escort carrier HMS Nabob a Royal Navy ship manned by Canadians from 15 October 1943 until severely
USS Edisto CVE - 41 was a Bogue - class escort carrier transferred to the Royal Navy as HMS Nabob USS Edisto AGB - 2 was a Wind - class icebreaker transferred to the United
XX HMS Trouncer HMS Trumpeter X HMS Arbiter HMS Ameer XX HMS Atheling X HMS Begum X HMS Emperor XX HMS Empress HMS Khedive X HMS Nabob X crewed by the
Admiralty purchased her for use as an armed escort ship and named her HMS Nabob In 1780 the Royal Navy converted her to a hospital ship. She was sold
naval aircraft until World War II when they manned escort carriers HMS Nabob and HMS Puncher. In 1975 the RCN ended their naval aviation role when the
HMS Quorn was a Hunt - class destroyer of the Royal Navy, built in 1940 and sunk off the Normandy coast on 3 August 1944. Quorn was built by J. Samuel White
HMS Volage was a V - class destroyer of the British Royal Navy, commissioned on 26 May 1944, that served in the Arctic and the Indian Oceans during World
HMCS Magnificent CVL 21 and HMCS Warrior CVL 20 Examples included: HMS Nabob D77 and HMS Puncher D79 World War II carrier example included: HMCS Warrior R31
World Aircraft Carrier Lists Haze Gray Underway. Warrilow, Betty. Nabob the first Canadian - manned aircraft carrier Owen Sound, Ont. : Escort carriers
for the cruiser Kent and two aircraft carriers, Nabob and Trumpeter in the southern Arctic Ocean. Nabob was torpedoed without warning Macintyre had just
F59 HMS Matabele F26 HMS Mauritius 80 HMS Medway F25 HMS Mohawk F31 HMS Montrose D01 HMS Nabberley HMS Nabbington HMS Nabob D77 HMS Nabthorpe
Operation Goodwood, but inflict only light damage. U - 354 sank HMS Bickerton and damaged HMS Nabob from the British fleet before being sunk by escorts on 24
Kinetic. The task force, consisting of the cruiser HMS Bellona, and the destroyers HMS Ashanti, HMS Tartar, HMCS Haida and HMCS Iroquois, attacked the
services to points of delivery. In addition, escort carriers such as HMS Vindex and HMS Nairana played an important role in hunter - killer anti - submarine sweeps
Post War Carriers – 1946 to 1970
Active consideration of an expanded role for Canada in the Pacific war began as early as May, 1944, and it was agreed that larger ships would be required than any then serving in the RCN. The Canadian Naval Staff favoured returning the escort aircraft carriers Nabob and Puncher, then on loan from the RN, and taking over light fleet carriers in their place. Two of these, WARRIOR and MAGNIFICENT, were offered on loan (with option to purchase) in January, 1945, and arrangements were concluded in May, but neither ship had been completed by VJ-Day. WARRIOR was finally commissioned at Belfast on January 24, 1946, arriving at Halifax on March 31 with the Seafires and Fireflies of 803 and 825 Squadrons. Unsuited for an eastern Canadian winter, she was transferred to Esquimalt in November.
Reductions in defence spending soon made it evident that the RCN would be able to afford only one carrier, and it was decided to exchange WARRIOR for the slightly larger MAGNIFICENT. WARRIOR accordingly returned to the East coast in February 1947, where she was engaged most of the year in sea training and, latterly, in preparations for her return to the RN. In February, 1948, she arrived at Belfast, where she transferred stores to MAGNIFICENT and, on March 23, was paid off. She served in the RN until 1958, when she was sold to Argentina and renamed Independencia.
Magnificent, a near-sister to WARRIOR, had been launched at Belfast six months after her, in November, 1944. She was commissioned on April 7, 1948, and spent the ensuing nine years in an unceasing round of training cruises and exercises, visiting such far-flung ports as Oslo, Havana, Lisbon, and San Francisco, and taking part in large-scale NATO manoeuvres such as “Mainbrace” and “Mariner” in 1952 and 1953. On December 29, 1956, she left Halifax for Port Said, carrying a deckload of 233 vehicles as well as 406 army personnel and stores as Canada’s contribution to the UN Emergency Force in the Middle East. “Maggie” sailed from Halifax for the last time on April 10, 1957, to be paid off at Plymouth on June 14. After being laid up for eight years there she arrived at Faslane, Scotland, in July. 1965, for breaking up.
When the Suez crisis erupted, MAGNIFICENT had just completed landing stores for her successor, a more modern carrier whose construction had been suspended in 1946. The successor s name was to have been HMS Powerful, but the RCN decided to rename her BONAVENTURE after the bird sanctuary in the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Work on this ship had stopped three months after her launching in February, 1945, with the result that when construction resumed in 1952, improvements could be built into her. The most notable of these was the angled flight deck, which provided a longer landing run without sacrificing forward parking space, and permitted the removal of the unpopular crash barrier. Also noteworthy were a steam catapult and a mirror landing sight, the latter going far toward eliminating human error in landing.
The “Bonnie” was commissioned at Belfast on January 17, 1957, and arrived at Halifax on June 26, carrying on deck an experimental hydrofoil craft that was to serve in the development of HMCS Bras d’Or. Unlike her predecessors, BONAVENTURE had Banshee jet fighters and Tracker A/S aircraft as her complement. Like them, she enjoyed a busy career of flying training and participation in A/S and tactical exercises with ships of other NATO nations. What was expected to be her mid-life refit, carried out from 1966 to 1967, took 16 months and cost over $11 Million. This cost proved to be too high for Canada’s Navy, as she was paid off in 1970, and sold for scrap.